In Focus: Health

Publication | April 2010

ADB improves health by supporting better governance and spending, more water and sanitation infrastructure, and regional collaboration to control communicable diseases such as HIV and influenza.


While good health is desirable in itself, it also promotes productivity, learning capacity, and incomes. Government expenditure on health in Asia is low, and what little is spent is often poorly allocated and inequitable. Personal health expenditures are a major cause of impoverishment. Regional integration increases the mobility of people and the exchange of goods but may also facilitate the spread of infectious diseases.


ADB is committed to improving health in the region by focusing on our core areas of expertise - infrastructure, good governance and public expenditure management, and support of regional public goods - and by working with partners.


We help improve health primarily by improving public expenditure management for cost-effective delivery of health programs and services to all population groups, and by building water supply and sanitation infrastructure. We also support regional cooperation to tackle communicable diseases and target assistance to countries experiencing internal and/or cross-border migration to reduce the risk of spreading communicable diseases.